creativity

The necessity of travel

12:00:00 AM

It was May 2011 when I took that first life-changing trip: I booked a flight to Dumaguete from Manila using Mabuhay Miles I’ve earned through my credit card. It was my first time to fly on my own - to travel on my own, actually - and I made the decision then because I needed to run away. I had lost my mother to cancer the October prior, and my five-year relationship ended the month after. It was a difficult time and I needed a break from my life then. 
Jump to freedom.
That trip put me back together beautifully. And I never looked back.

I visited Dumaguete countless times after that, but I went to a number of other places, too - some for weddings, others for work, but mostly for leisure. I’m no trust fund baby, but I have awesome friends and street smarts so I get to travel cheap. I’m used to campsites and hostels, street and carinderia food, and of course, hikes and commutes. Plus, I had the good fortune of being a freelance writer with steady clients, which meant I could leave take my work with me wherever I went, allowing me to go away whenever I felt that I needed to. 

Yes, I’m one of those people who consider travel a need as much as a want.
Princess Hours haha
Before I go on, allow me to clarify that while I strongly advise people to travel (or at least try once for those who haven’t yet), I do not condone doing so beyond one’s means. It’s pretty stupid to acquire debt in the name of a getaway; you’ll be coming home to a/another problem, which negates the whole damn thing. Travel within your means - there are many practical ways to go about it without breaking the bank - but if you really can’t afford it yet, push your plans back a bit to make and/or save the money you need.

Another clarification - I do not think there’s something wrong with people who don’t like traveling. If anything, I frown upon fellow travelers who carry themselves with some air of superiority over people who either do not travel (whether it’s because they don’t like it or they can’t afford it or they can’t find the time for it or they have medical conditions or any other reason) or have traveled to fewer places. I recommend traveling - wherever you can, whenever you can - if it’s your thing. 

On my head, it is.
Anyway, going back to my need for travel - I didn’t realize until that May 2011 trip that travel was, for me, a necessity as it is a desire. I’m not denying that it’s leisure, it’s luxury, but as a writer, it’s something that I need. I need new sights, new scents, new faces, new tastes, new experiences, new everything, most especially when I find myself stuck. Travel was the key that unlocked my creativity, which has become my bread and butter since 2012. 

Some travels change me a little, others a lot; the bottom line is, I am never the same person when I return as I was when I left my apartment. Each trip - whether it’s a month, a week, or a few days away, whether it’s to a new place or somewhere I’ve been before - adds something to how I existed before it. In this sense, it’s not any different from reading a book; the first time changes you, so when you give it another go from start to finish, you’re already a different person reading it - a different person with a different perspective and priorities, and so it changes you all over again. 
Soaking in the view
One of the best creative minds in the country gave a talk for our team and he gave me the sweet, sweet validation that travel was, in my line of work, absolutely necessary. Creativity isn’t about coming up with new things, but rather about making new connections from what’s already there. On top of opening my mind to amazing things the world has to offer, what I appreciate about travel is how it clears my mind of the clutter of fear, anxiety, or anger - allowing me to see more clearly how people relate to things, the world, to one another.

Half the year is over, and I’m grateful for the journeys I’ve taken so far. January was very good to me - I got to visit Dumaguete, Baler, Capiz, and Antique - while I found myself in Zambales in February and May. I flew to South Korea for a weekend in March, so I didn’t mind too much that I just stayed home for April. If things go my way, I should be able to go on one trip a month for the rest of the year; that’s one of my goals - to keep my brain clear and functioning, my heart beating with the gusto for life, and my soul as kind as it is open to kindness.


isawisay

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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)